Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bedlam


A couple of days ago, when the framers were just finishing their job on the house next door, when the generator that gave their screeching tools power never shut off, when the sound of air nailers left my dogs in a permanent state of neurosis...our roofer showed up.

There was nowhere, now, for the dogs and I to gather our wits, to pursue our normal everyday lives seeking as much peace as possible.

Even when the workers gathered their tools and decamped for the day, the dogs loitered inside, dogging my footsteps, refusing to go outside. I used Rescue Remedy, rubbing drops into the backs of their heads. They quietened; with Spirits inside dampened, they lay about the house, eyes wide open and aware.

But they know and like our roofer, who made it his business to get to know each of our dogs. He was someone who, even if he made noise, was outside...in our yard, and therefore offered protection. The dogs accepted him as their own; especially when a bread crust found its way into Nate's mouth. Lucky, who should by now have not a hair left on his body,due to copious shedding, is still a little wary...food doesn't interest him at the best of times.

The unrelenting noise...the screeching of the saws, the drone of the generator, the sound of the nailer giving continuous shots, the roofer throwing down bundles of shakes, making pictures, lights and everything not tied down vibrate...it's Bedlam here.

My normal quiet day...one that is well-suited to reflection and writing and solitary pursuits, is thrown off-balance. At the end of one day, I could feel my body reflecting the booming sounds it was being subjected to. I was jumpy and ill-at- ease.

I could no longer write for long... even in the far-off world I inhabit when I write... even there the noise found me, throwing off the muse, making her toss her hands in the air, and leave for parts unknown.

And now, in tandem, in a sort of hellish ballet, the hammers ring and thud, banging, banging, banging. In self-defense, I turn gentle, sweet music up high to cover the drone of the generators.

I contemplate putting in a claim for hearing aids, to the builder next door. Surely, his workers must be wearing ear protection, I thought, until I hear Led Zeppelin blasting out of their boom boxes at seven o'clock in the morning... and realize their hearing is already gone... along with their manners.

It's an old neighbourhood where I live, with many pre-war homes and cottages. This big house being built towers over us all, with one window looking down directly into my back garden.

There will be little privacy, if the new owners happen to be a tad nosy!

But the high roof line gives balance to Grandfather Tree; he no longer looks lost, a lone Tree reaching for the clouds. This big house being built gives even more presence to Grandfather.

I decide if I am living in Bedlam, I must adapt. The noise is tiring; I could get more rest. The noise is unnerving; I could go down to the beach for an hour. And most of all, I remind myself, the noise will end. It will not last into eternity; there will come a time when workers will leave a pristine new house next door and our roofer will finish.

Peace will once more return to Bedlam.

17 comments:

  1. I hope you get really great neighbors after all this. And you have lifelong new friends.

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  2. Lol! Touche, Jan! It would be wonderful to make lifelong new friends, and I have a strong feeling it will be so.

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  3. Good luck with the neighbours. After all you must have at least one thing in common.....wanting to live in your nice area.

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  4. Stick a candy bar in their gas tank on their generator. The sugar will wreck the engine. :)
    Have to say that roofing is one of my favorite construction jobs. You and the sky and a roofing nailer, or a pneumatic nailer. I swear the view is breathtaking and serene.

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  5. That new house'll be finished before you know it.

    I'm glad you mentioned your roofers. I'd forgotten that roofers are noisy -- we're gettin' our roof redone the week of the 21st. I'll be gone to a conference most of that week, so the Ol' Man will be here with the noise an' the banging. He'll get to console the dawg, three cats, three hermit crabs, two turtles, two fish, forty-eight-kazillion snails, an' a fiddler crab. An' those is just the pets that we KNOW we have.

    BFF,
    Miss T

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  6. Just think on how more peaceful sound of quiet will be when this is over. It is disheartning to be subject to the noise and racket that takes your attention and your energy. Yet it teaches us that noise to us is music to the people who use the tools to create and rebuild. Please send my peace to your dogs and pet them for me to help soothe them.

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  7. Thank you, Davem, it's a beautiful spot, Qualicum Beach Village and area. I am currently reading a history of my adopted Town;I will do a post about it soon...quite possibly after the hammers quit, lol!

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  8. Hmmmmm...lol! Got some old Halloween candies hanging about somewhere...

    There were some days I envied the roofer's viewpoint...when the eagles and other birds fly over, it must be an incredible feeling. With a good roofer, too, there is a cadence to the hammering, which I am trying to treat as a soothing background beat...lol!

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  9. Miss T, you reminded me of my pet fish, who has been a little off his feed, these past few days. Gotta find a worm to appease his Cichlid nerves...I have no doubt his tank vibrates! Good luck with your roof...my sympathies with your Ol'Man!

    Dave, thanks for the distance Reiki, it certainly helps. And the quiet will return, things change, become different, that's the way of it.

    It's great to come here and post about it, whine and complain...helps a lot, lol!

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  10. I've built a new meme, Marion, and would love for you to join in. What better than a fellow explorer?

    You've been tagged to do the Kilroy Education Meme!

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  11. Thanks, Kilroy...I read over your meme and some interesting memories arose. I like this one, and am writing a post on it now. I am still trying with the Pollock one, but my hand and arm jump each time there is another boom from the construction area!

    Which ruins the whole painting, lol!

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  12. I, too hate the noise of machinery hopefully your new neighbors won't be like my neighbors and have a love for making stuff.. the noise is a real pain in the tushy sometimes lol.

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  13. I am a great believer in wax earplugs, the kind that get soft in your hands so you can mold them to fit. Make sure you take them out when the builders have gone though!

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  14. Matt, it's so nice to see you...been a while! Glad you're back!

    Simon, thanks for the reminder...that was precisely what I was going to do, before our roofer showed up. With all the noise, that idea went plain out of my head.

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  15. Hope you like your new neighbours.

    I note that there are so many wood houses over there. Here it is all brick walls and tile roofs, or corrugated iron roofs in some of the very old mining type houses.

    Good old Resue Remedy, whatever would we do without it ?

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  16. Houses here are mostly wood frame...brick etc. is a very expensive way to build here.

    Rescue Remedy, Jackie, works very well with almost anyone I've tried it with, as you know it does,lol. I read somewhere (perhaps Jan's blog?) that rubbing it on the back of their heads works well, for finicky dogs who aren't good eaters. And it does, much better than if I was to put it in water.

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  17. I know what you mean about the noise. I need quiet to write. It looks like the big house is well on its way to completion though. Maybe soon you'll have your peace back.

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